Grid hardware could face threats found in Spectre, Meltdown vulnerabilities
- Two new and widespread cybersecurity vulnerabilities have been identified, but it is unclear thus far how they might impact the utility space, and patches to address the issue have been significantly impacting system performance.
- The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were identified last year, and the public was informed early this month. The two security flaws leverage processing techniques known as speculative execution and caching, in order to access data that should be off limits.
- According to Greentech Media, solar inverters are one piece of equipment which may leave electric utilities vulnerable.
The utility industry has stepped up its cybersecurity in recent years in response to frequent threats and sporadically successful attacks. But the newest tech weaknesses are essentially built into the hardware and exist in most processor chips produced in the last 20 years, according to recent reports.
Dima Tokar, cofounder and CTO of MachNation, told Greentech Media that "anyone operating mission-critical systems or infrastructure should assume they are vulnerable until they confirm otherwise.”
Follow Robert Walton on Twitter